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Extensive new-build programme brings a wide range of benefits – More than 50 new boats, ranging in size from 7m to 80m are scheduled to be delivered to UK Skippers in the next three years, representing an unprecedented reinvestment in the fishing industry of around £300m, reports David Linkie.

The last quarter of this year will see the delivery of some 10 new boats, including whitefish, pelagic and shellfish vessels. A similar level of new fleet additions is scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

Of particular significance is the fact that the new builds encompass a wide range of vessel types, target species and geographical areas.

Fly-shooters, pair-seiners, scallopers, single-, twin-rig and beam trawlers, vivier crabbers and pelagic vessels are at various stages of design and build for owners in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, Devon and Cornwall, as well as North East Scotland. Inshore static-gear boats are also well represented.

The level of interest that skippers continue to show in purpose-built new boats is such that UK boatyards have healthy order books stretching several years ahead.

When some 40 new boats handed over to owners in the past two years are taken into account, this represents extremely strong levels of commitment and confidence in the long-term future of the UK fishing industry.

The level of current investment in any industry has always been recognised as a strong indicator of its long-term future. Therefore, the fact that over £400m is being invested over a five-year period to build state-of-the-art new vessels that will enable skippers and their crews to catch their annual quotas with enhanced safety, efficiency and financial viability, is a very positive and welcome sign.

New boats incorporating new ideas and the latest technological developments, allied with minimal maintenance costs, have long been recognised as representing the most cost-effective way of fishing. However, the lack of clarity and certainty that generally prevailed in the industry, at a time when quotas and fishing opportunities were on a steady downward spiral, meant that strongly motivated younger skippers were unable to firmly grasp the initiative by taking the then quantum leap to a new boat.

Some of the new boats now joining the UK fleet are replacing boats that have more than 30 years of service under their keels. Others will replace boats built in…(Read More) Source: https://fishingnews.co.uk/news/300m-fleet-investment-50-new-boats-scheduled-to-join-uk-fleet-by-2021-22/